As a BSc (Hons) Nutrition student, I had the chance to join a cohort of students from the BSc (Hons) Nutrition and the BSc (Hons) Sport Nutrition programmes at Liverpool John Moores University on their trip to experience using commercial kitchens and dining at Kendal College. Renowned for nurturing the crème de la crème of chefs, managers and industry professionals, this institution in the heart of the Lake District is known to have one of the most influential cooking courses in the country.
Exploring the departments
The Lakes School of Hospitality and Management at Kendal College is run like a hotel, preparing students for careers in hospitality and ensuring they work well in high-pressured environments from the start of their studies. The grand dining room is reminiscent of a top-tier restaurant and the college also boasts three purpose-driven kitchens – one each for starters, main courses and desserts. This set-up ensures students experience the nuances of hospitality and catering on all levels. The addition of the bar area means all essential elements of a restaurant are replicated to enhance students’ learning.
Meeting the culinary maestros
Upon arrival, we were given a guided tour and an introductory session led by chefs and the course leader. Hearing the history of Kendal College was interesting and really made it stand out as a premier institution in the UK. We learned that graduates often end up in prestigious establishments, including 5-star hotels around the country. Through the talk, it was also obvious how diverse the programmes on offer are, with courses ranging from professional cookery to wines.
We were divided into groups to create starters, mains and desserts, using the commercial kitchen facilities Kendal College boasts. Group dynamics came into play, challenging us to adapt and work as part of a team, as we would have to do in a real-life hospitality setting. Starters included delicacies such as goats cheese and beetroot crackers; and we learned the need for adaptability due to dietary restrictions. One group crafted a main course featuring pan-fried and roasted rump of lamb. Dessert, a chocolate mousse extravaganza, involved every student in the intricate process.
Presenting the culinary delights
The culmination of our efforts was a grand three-course meal served in the dining room. Everyone took on the role of waiting staff, presenting their creations with professionalism and flair. The experience immersed students in the full spectrum of hospitality and catering, from coming up with the menu and preparing the food through to presentation and serving.
After we had enjoyed the meal, a nutrition teacher from Kendal College gave a talk on the calories and nutrients we had just consumed. The interactive session, including a game guessing the calorie content, was fun while emphasising the significance of nutritional awareness and enhancing what LJMU students learn on our own campus.
Reflection: beyond the plates
As the day drew to a close, we reflected on more than just the flavours lingering in our mouths. Kendal College gave us a day of hands-on experience, a journey of discovery and a lesson in collaboration.
In the kitchen, we weren't just chopping vegetables or searing meat; we were working as a team, adapting and compromising when needed. The grand dining room wasn’t just a setting for a meal; it was a stage where we performed, presenting our culinary creations to an eager audience.
The nutritional talk wasn’t just another lecture, but a wake-up call to the importance of understanding what goes into our bodies. The guessing game brought laughs, however also highlighted the importance of raising this awareness not just in the classroom, but across society too.
This wasn’t just a day out – it was an immersion into a world where passion meets precision and where creativity is as essential as any ingredient. Kendal College opened its doors, not just to a building filled with kitchens and classrooms, but to a realm where culinary mastery intertwines with the art of hospitality.
At the end of the day we were all eager to get back to Liverpool and use what we’ve learned in our own studies.
Interested in studying nutrition?
If you are interested in finding out where studying BSc (Hons) Nutrition or BSc (Hons) Sport Nutrition could take you, take a look at the range of courses on our website.